If you give it a deep thought, we are all made up of two components only. Ourselves and the people we surround our lives with. Just the amount of ourselves and others in us – varies. Today I want to talk about the second component, about families and friends, and particularly about friends. I have always told everyone – if I’m where I am today, it is because I am more lucky than talented; lucky that God & Gurus sent me some really beautiful friends. He gave me the kind of friendship that moves your universe, the kind that is inexplicably profound.

Think of those friends

Take yourself back to your kindergarten or playing-outside-in-the-mud days & think of the names you remember. The name of the person that sat with you in school, who came home and ate all your food, who your mom complained to about you while you sat in the same room, the friend who you create dirty secrets with, the friend who keeps them for you, the friend who would move the world for you and yet won’t lift even a lazy finger for you, the friend who would be there at your every beck and call, the friend who simply loves you beyond reason. Think of all the people you consider your friends and read this blog keeping them in mind.

The two kinds of friendships

There are two kinds of friendships only – the ones that exist for a reason and the one that exist without. And trust me you need both. Mostly, they are contextual. Friendships that existed because of geography, location, proximity, education, society or other parameters. And once those reasons are gone, the bonds begin to fade. And that’s okay. It is fine to have transactional or tangential friends – who are there when you need and vice versa. It is okay to let them fade or take a backseat over time. It is okay to lose a few friends to time, to higher education, to earning a living etc. It is okay to not always be in touch. If you were better friends, you would have. Because – “har ek friend zaroori nahi hota”.

And because – the second type is always there. The kind that moves the universe. The friends that claw your way into your lives, who adamantly break down the walls around you & refuse to leave even when you asked them to. Trust me – you need these crazy lunatics who just won’t leave you alone, because alone in this world – is not a good thing. And make one such friend, who keeps clawing, who does not give up, who comes after you like the hutch puppy chasing you on a lonely road, who believes so fiercely in you that it might choke you with emotion and yet does not leave out any opportunity to insult you and make fun of you. But will bring down heaven and earth if someone else tries to do the same. No one can mess with their ‘person’.

There are friends, very good friends and best friends and then there is your person. Together, you ensure that it is a bunch of awesome people who move your universe around, who will be there every time you need a pick me up by kicking you to the ground and making you laugh about it 🙂 … And of course, you can talk crap for hours and hours, and when you wake up next day, you are ready for more crap that feels good as new.

funny friendship meme
Funny Crappy Friendships: The Best Kind (Image courtesy: vitamin-ha.com)

You can have only one person. You can have a few best friends and some very good friends but you can have only one person. If you have ever seen Grey’s anatomy, you know what I am talking about!

Choose that one person carefully; for they are a deep, irrevocable, irrefutable part of your soul. They are your true soulmates.

My ‘PERSON’, my GURU 🙂

I know as we read, a few names have stayed with you. You know who your person is. Some names are popping in my head too; the friends I have had in the last 40 yrs. They have made my life so beautiful! I am extremely thankful for the second kind of friends in my life. If you ask me about ‘my person’, it is ‘My Guru’ Sri Sri Parahmhansa Yogananda Ji, the author of the biggest spiritual classic, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’. He is by truest friend.

My Guru’s teachings and guidance are my portable best friend. All that he wrote in his books & lessons is like the most profound poetry for my heart. Every line that I read further from him; invariably i end up humming to myself ‘Wow ! Wow ! Wow ! So deep. So very deep. Every single paragraph penetrates my soul and prompts the feeling ‘Did he have me in his mind when he was writing all this? ‘ 🙂

Whenever I deviate from righteousness there is that tiny voice which whispers into my heart and mind that – ‘you are doing it wrong Akash. This is not the path’. That voice is that of God (through the channel of Guru’s teachings). Imagine having such an auto-correct friend for your lifetime :). Reduces the probability of one going grossly wrong in life and totally dries up the probability of one feeling lonely in one’s life.

He says,

“Human love and friendship have their basis in service on the physical, mental, or business plane. They are short-lived and conditional. Divine love has its foundation in service on the spiritual and intuitional planes, and is unconditional and eternal.”

In human friendships, there will always be a context. If you want meaningless yet most meaningful, infinite friendship, you will only find it in ‘divine friendship’. It is the kind friendship that moves your universe, literally. In my God & Gurus, I find a friend who is ready to give me the world and wants nothing in return but love. It is the kind that is new every day, that never fades, that is limitless love and affection, 24×7 presence – if only you know how to find it. I think it would be worth your while if you try to find that divine friendship in your life. You will never be alone or lonely. (Read more about Meditation & Spirituality)

Main aur mere prabhu ek se hain,
Dono bhool jaate hain
Who meri galtiyon ko,
Main unki meherbaaniyon ko

Beautiful no?

Pyaar, Ishq aur Mohabbat; the Various Faces of Friendship

You know, I once had a crazy fight with my person. It is worse than breaking up. In a relationship, there is a huge context involved; of love, expectations, desire to be together and so on. Once those contexts change begin to stop being important, the relationship starts turning sour. But not in friendship. And that’s why it hurts more.

I think Shah Rukh very wisely said once ‘pyaar dosti hai’ ! 🙂 … Because if you are looking to have a relationship that’s super beautiful, you have no choice but to fall in ‘best friendship’ with them. Anything short of true friendship will always be contextual. I have been a Motivational Speaker a long time now & have met with and spoken with many couples too. The ones that truly share wonderful love between them, the kind that you can feel when you are around them, the kind that looks selfless to others too – are the ones who have found their ‘person’ in their spouse.

Now that I think about it, true friendship is one where there is no desire of ownership. It is the one where you are just happy to have known, been with and loved your friend so much that sometimes the love might just erupt from your heart and fill you with insurmountable joy. If you have felt like this for someone, don’t let go of that friend. Even if it is no longer your conventional, talk-everyday-constantly-texting kind of friendship (for whatever reasons), don’t let go. Keep them in their life whichever way they want to remain.

You Do Not give up on Them

When you have a fight with your person, it does not matter whose fault it was – you do not give up. You do not stop being friends. If for some reason you can’t talk, you keep them in your thoughts and prayers. And not just for the sake of saying; but actual, deep prayer. Trust me, a friend who is praying for you or keeping you in their good thoughts, is far closer to your heart than a person you are hanging out with or talking to everyday but without the intensity.

This is because – true friends belong to you, yet you don’t own them. They are an inseparable part of your soul, a thousand times bigger than the idea of ownership and possession. That’s what makes friendship so different from ‘love-ship’. I think we have come to understand it the opposite way these days, but from where I stand – friendship is the deepest form of ‘ishq’. And that reminds me of this beautiful dialogue from the movie ‘Namaste London’ –

“Ishq di mere mitra pehchaan ki,
Mit jaaye jado zid apnan di’

(The hallmark of true love is the absence of the desire to own the person.)

Your Cleanest Mirror, your Alter Ego, your Friend

One of the slam book quotes about friendship that I often come across is ‘a true friend is like a mirror where you can see your own reflection’. I used to find it quite cheesy till I actually fully grasped what it means: There is one more thing about this universe moving friendship. It empowers you. But it is not an enabler. Never an enabler.

Your ‘person’ will always call you out on your bullshit, even when you ask them not to. They are the ones who are not afraid to speak their minds, call you stupid when you are indeed being stupid and shake you out of your stupid paths. It is the unspoken rule. They will drag you out of dangerous alleys no matter how hard you resist, because ‘letting no harm befall you’ comes with the package. They are the Christina to your Meredith, the Wilson to your House, the Calvin to your Hobbes, the anchor to your soul!

So, if you ever find someone who is enabling you – be a little wary. They don’t really care that much about you.

In summary –

Divine friendship is the most selfless and limitless kind of friendship. But till the time you find that, you find a friend who loves you unconditionally. A friend who is not afraid to speak their mind, no matter how hard and hitting the truth is, a friend who is there for no reason at all. And while you are at it, find some really good friends who are there when you need them, without fail.

friendship-best-friend
My friend Sid 🙂

I want to leave you with this thought:

I often quote from the book ‘This is All I have to Say’ by Swapan Seth. This is what he says about friends.

I measure a man by the friends he has.
Your friends tell the world who you are.
Which is why, pick them with caution.
And then flaunt them with pride.

Pick rich friends.
Rich in intellect.
Rich in integrity.
Rich in experience.
Rich in enthusiasm.
Rich in talent.

Pick big minds. People who can make you feel small.
There is a certain kind of rush you feel when get dwarfed by a friend.
I find the intellect of my friends inspiring.

Seek criticism from your friends.
Seeking their approbation is such a waste of their time.
Don’t judge your friends.
But be happily judged by them.
In a world full of lies, they are your only truth.

Make time for your friends.
One call to a friend. Everyday.
And share all your blessings with them.
Laugh with them. Then again laugh at them.
Cry with them. Then again cry for them.

And stand up for them. Be their armour.
And never for a moment think of what they do or who they are.
For they are foremost, your friends.

With lots of Love,
Akash Gautam

About Author

Akash Gautam is a Motivational Speaker & Corporate Trainer in India. Hundreds of Top Corporates like Google, CIPLA, Vodafone, McKinsey & Co., Maruti, HDFC, RIL, M&M & premier colleges like IIMs, IITs, SRCC etc go to him whenever they need a refreshing, big bang impact. Write to usWrite to us to know how he can transform your Team.

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